Scoring early and often, the Uni-President Lions put up four quick runs over the first three innings, before going on to defeat the Lamigo Monkeys 9-2 at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium yesterday to sweep the weekend series against their nemeses from Taoyuan.
Starter Yuya Kamada was at his best once again as he cruised through to the seventh inning in a three-hit gem, before the Lions’ bullpen came up with a scoreless eighth and ninth to preserve the Japanese ace’s league-leading 10th win of the season.
Other than a solo shot that he surrendered to the Monkeys’ Chung Cheng-yo and a pair of doubles he served up in a meaningless seventh, the righty was virtually untouchable with a repertoire of pitches that kept the Lamigo hitters off-balance nearly the entire game.
On the offensive side, the night belonged to Chang “OEO” Tai-shan and Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung, who went deep against the Monkeys’ pitching on combined six-for-eight hitting, with four RBIs.
Also starring was Liu Fu-hao, who drove an offering from newly signed Monkeys starter Ben Moore over the right-center wall to spoil the American right-hander’s CPBL debut.
With the win, Kamada became the fastest player to reach the 10-win mark in league history as he took only 11 games to accomplish the feat.
The Japanese hurler could rewrite the record books for most wins in a season with 26 victories if he maintains his current pace.
ELEPHANTS 2, BULLS 0
The Brother Elephants also took care of business in their contest in Taoyuan yesterday as they blanked the Sinon Bulls at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium to sweep their weekend set in grand fashion.
Luis Gonzalez gave the overworked Elephants bullpen some much needed rest by going the distance for skipper Chen Rei-chen in a complete-game shutout to win his third of the year.
He scattered seven singles to the Bulls, but managed to keep the shutout intact with a season-high 13 strikeouts to strand eight Sinon runners on the night.
Bulls starter Lin Chi-wei matched Gonzalez’s success inning for inning through the fifth with a two-hit effort in a scoreless tie, but his luck ran out in the sixth when the Elephants’ Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min singled in a runner from second with a liner to left to score the game’s first run. That was more than ample for the men in the golden uniforms.